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Occipitalis muscle

Recommended video: Muscles of facial expression [12:24]
Overview of the muscles responsible for facial expression.

The occipitalis muscle, also referred to as the occipital belly of the occipitofrontalis muscle, is a muscle of facial expression and forms part of the epicranial muscle group. The occipitalis originates from the lateral two-thirds of the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone and adjacent region of the mastoid part of the temporal bone and ascends to join onto the epicranial aponeurosis

The occipitalis functions to retract the scalp. Acting alternately with the frontalis muscle, the two muscles can move the entire scalp backwards and forwards. It is innervated by the posterior auricular branch of the facial nerve (CN VII).

Terminology English: Occipitalis muscle
Latin: Musculus occipitalis
Origin Lateral 2/3 of superior nuchal line
Insertion Epicranial aponeurosis
Function Retracts scalp

Learn more about the muscles of facial expression with this study unit (and article):

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